Concealed Weapons

In California you do not need a permit to purchase rifles, handguns and shotguns and they do have to be registered or Licensed. You do need to register handguns and a permit to carry handguns if concealed. Police record all purchases from dealers.

If you just moved to California you have 60 days to register your handgun(s).


All firearms sales including private and gun show sales, transfers or loans, are supposed to go through a California licensed firearms dealer. An application for sale or transfer must be made with a licensed California gun dealer before any firearm may be sold, given away or transferred.

The dealer sends a copy of the application to the Ca. Dept. of Justice and the local police.

The CA DOJ will conduct a background check on each buyer for a fee. There is a 10-day waiting period before delivery of any firearm. The waiting period and dealer application do not apply to antique firearms, and rifles and shotguns which are classified as curios or relics by the federal government. There are other exceptions as well.

No person shall make an application to purchase more than one pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person within a 30-day period. No person shall purchase or transfer a handgun to someone without a Handgun Safety Certificate (HRC).

To receive a handgun safety certificate, a person must pass a written test that is given by a certified instructor. If you pass the HRC is valid for five years.

To receive a handgun from a dealer, a person must have or buy an approved firearms safety device such as a trigger lock.

Laws regarding Possession of a Firearm

  • It is unlawful for anyone convicted of a felony, or who is a drug addict, present or former mental patient, ever committed for mental observation, or acquitted by reason of insanity to own or possess any firearm.
  • People with certain misdemeanor convictions involving force or violence may not possess or own any firearm within 10 years of the conviction.
  • A person who has been adjudicated as a juvenile offender or delinquent for any offense which would be classified as a felony or misdemeanor involving force or violence if committed by an adult may not own or possess any firearm until age 30.
  • A minor may not possess a handgun except with written permission or under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • A minor under 16 may not possess a handgun, unless they are accompanied by their parent or guardian while participating in a legal recreation activity involving firearms or has written permission to participate in such activities.
  • A minor under 16 may not possess live ammunition except with the written permission or under the supervision of a parent or guardian, or while going to or from an organized lawful recreational or competitive shooting activity or lawful hunting activity.

Carrying and Transportation In Motor Vehicles

It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle, shotgun, or handgun in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated area or an area where firing a firearm is prohibited, such as Los Angeles County.

Exceptions include:

  • Persons shooting on target ranges, or while hunting on the premises of a shooting club.
  • A person who reasonably believes that he or his property is in immediate danger and the weapon must be carried for “preservation.”
  • A person “engaged in the act of making or attempting lawful arrest.”
  • A person carrying a firearm while at home or at his place of business, including temporary residences and campsites.

Carrying a handgun concealed without a license is illegal. The law states “Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section.”

Carrying a handgun concealed within a vehicle is illegal unless it ia placed in the trunk of an automobile, or locked in a container in the vehicle other than the utility or glove compartment or while in a locked container carried directly to or from a vehicle. A locked container means a fully enclosed secure container locked by a key lock or similar locking device.

Exceptions to this prohibition are:

  • Members of clubs organized for practice shooting while on any established target range or going to and from such range.
  • Licensed hunters and fishermen while engaged in hunting or fishing and while going to or from such hunting or fishing expeditions and members of an antique or historical collector's club while at a show, or while going to and from a display as long as the weapons are locked in a trunk or are in a locked container.

If you have been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon for another gun offense, give us a call today. A conviction may hurt your ability to own guns in the future.